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Saturday, Jul 02nd

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Fort McMurray fire spreads, thousands airlifted

Firs spreads in Fort McMurray areaA massive wildfire in Canada exploded tenfold in size, forcing the evacuation of 8,000 people from work camps north of Fort McMurray by air as the inferno grew to 850sq km.

Canadian officials said they would move thousands more via a highway convoy on Friday.

A government airlift of those cut off to the north began from oil facility airstrips. Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said some 4,000 people had already been airlifted to the cities of Edmonton and Calgary as of late Thursday.

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Turkish prime minister announces decision to step down

Turkish PM steps downTurkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced his resignation on Thursday, paving the way for the country's president to pursue a tighter grip on power.

Davutoglu, who had fallen out with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, announced he was stepping aside following a meeting with executives of the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, which has dominated Turkish politics since 2002.

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US, Russia reach deal on Aleppo ceasefire

Aleppo cease fireAn agreement has been reached with Russia to extend a ceasefire in Syria to Aleppo province, including the besieged city of Aleppo, the US State Department said.

The expansion went into effect on Wednesday just after midnight in Damascus (02:00 GMT), the State Department said, noting an "overall decrease in violence" since then despite some continued fighting.

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Killer of Palestinian teen sentenced to life plus 20 years in prison

Israeli terrorist sentencedYosef Ben-David, who was convicted of the kidnapping and gruesome murder of Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir, was sentenced on Tuesday to life and an additional 20 years in prison.

The Jerusalem District Court also ordered Ben-David to pay NIS 150,000 in compensation to the Abu Khdeir family, and NIS 20,000 to Moussa Zaloum, a young boy from Beit Hanina also attacked by the defendant.

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Over 100 Killed In Migrant Shipwrecks Between Libya And Italy Over Weekend

100 migrants killed over weekendAn estimated 113 people died in four shipwrecks between Libya and Italy at the weekend as the crossing becomes the preferred sea route for migrants to Europe, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Tuesday.

With the closing of land routes in the Balkans and a recent deal under which Greece sends migrants back to Turkey, Italian officials have said they expect more people to try to make this longer and much more dangerous crossing from Libya.

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Syria: Aleppo hospital attacked by rebels

Aleppo hospital hit by rebelsAt least three people have been killed in a rebel rocket attack on a hospital in the city of Aleppo.

The attack was part of a shelling that left at least 19 people dead in government-controlled areas of the city on Tuesday, a monitoring group said.

Government forces carried out air strikes on rebel-held areas, including the Sakkour neighbourhood, after the attacks.

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First US cruise ship docks in Cuba

US cruise ship docks in CubaA U.S. cruise ship docked in Havana on Monday for the first time since relations with Cuba were re-established.

The ship, operated by a Carnival subsidiary, arrived at the Cuban capital a little before 11 a.m. local time, CNN reported. The ship left Miami on Sunday on a seven-day cruise.

The vessel was allowed to set sail after Havana in April backed off from an embargo preventing Cuban-born Americans from returning to the island by sea. Those travelers had been previously allowed to visit the island only by air.

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